19 February 2019
MR Defaecography

MRI Defaecating Proctogram

What is a MRI Defaecating Proctogram?

This is a way of examining your rectum (back passage) and the muscles that support your pelvic floor. The test is most commonly used to assess a pelvic prolapsed or in people who find it difficult to empty their bowels.

An MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scanner is used to obtain detailed pictures of the pelvis. MRI scanners combine a powerful magnet with a sophisticated computer system.

Why do I need a Defaecating Proctogram?

The decision to request an MRI Defaecating Proctogram test for you has been made by the doctors and specialist team responsible for your care. The test is used to obtain information which will help in deciding how this team can help you and which treatments would be most appropriate.   

Where will the procedure take place?

The procedure will take place in the MRI department

Who will be performing the Defaecating Proctogram?

 A specially trained radiographer with special expertise in using MRI equipment and one of the radiology Doctors will work together during the examination.

How do I prepare for a Defaecating Proctogram?

For the test to be most successful we required your back passage to be empty. We have enclosed suppositories to help you to open your bowels. You are asked to follow the attached instructions regarding the insertion of therectal suppositories. 

Important:  MRI Safety

Although there are no known side effects associated with MRI, some people cannot have the MRI due to safety reasons. This is because they either have metal fragments in their body or eyes, have a pacemaker, aneurysm clips in their brain or have had a recent operation.

Please ring the MRI department on 0121-424-0521 prior to your appointment if any of these points apply to you. We also prefer not to scan women in early pregnancy

On the day of your test

Please use the suppositories as directed in the attached sheet.

When you get to the radiology department a member of staff will talk to you to check that it is safe for you to have an MRI scan.

The radiographer will explain the procedure to you and will be able to answer any questions. You will be asked to change into an examination gown. You will be asked to remove all clothing below your waist including underware. You may wish to bring a dressing gown with you. The staff will try and make sure you remain comfortable. 

You will also need to remove jewellery, hearing aids, metal dentures, credit cards and deposit them into a locker. The key will be given to you to look after.

The Scan:

The radiographer will ask you to lie on the scanner couch. The radiographer will make sure you are positioned correctly, are comfortable and understand what the examination involves. The scanner is open at both ends and will have lighting and a light breeze flowing through it.  Because the scanner makes a drumming noise whilst it is working the radiographer will give you some ear protectors (ear plugs or headphones) to reduce the noise you can hear.

For the first part of the examination we will ask you to keep still while in the scanner to prevent blurring of the detailed scan pictures .  

For the second part of the examination, you will be required to follow some instructions similar to pelvic floor exercises.   The radiographer will make sure you understand what we require you to do at this stage. 

The third and final part of the test is the most important and useful to find out how the muscles of the pelvic floor are working. One of the radiology doctors will talk to you and, as long as you are happy, will use a syringe to gently insert some clear gel inside your back passage. Following some more brief scans, the radiographer will instruct you to empty this gel from your back passage onto an absorbent pad. Although the radiographer will be able to see your face on a video camera we will try to ensure adequate privacy for the examination.   

During your scan (which takes approximately 45 minutes) you will be able to communicate with the staff using a two –way intercom or a call button, although you will need to keep still while doing this.

Will it hurt?

The scan itself is painless, although you may feel slight discomfort and fullness when the gel is inserted. 

How long will it take?

You are advised it may take up to 1.5 hours in the MRI department 

What happens afterwards?

Once the examination is completed, the MRI staff will provide some wipes to remove any residual gel and try and give you enough time and privacy.

You may notice that you pass some gel over the rest of the day.

The images need to be examined in detail by a radiologist, so we cannot give you the results straight away. Your consultant will either arrange for you to receive an outpatient appointment to discuss your results or write to you directly.

Are there any complications or risks?

This is generally a very safe procedure. 

It is important that you fill in the MRI safety questionnaire properly, so that we can ensure it is safe for you to go into the MRI scanner. A radiographer will go through the questionnaire with you and help answer any questions you may have. 

Especially if the skin around the back passage is sore, or you have haemorrhoids, it can be a little uncomfortable whilst the gel is inserted. If you have any anxieties please talk to the radiographer and doctor during the examination.

As you will probably already have had your back passage examined by the doctor sending you for this test the risk of causing any damage to your back passage during the study is felt to be very low. 

For further Information

If you require further information or have any questions regarding the procedure, please contact 0121-424-0521

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